You want everything in your adoption home study to be perfect so that you can welcome your child home soon. You may be excited and understandably anxious. Knowing what to expect and how to get help may help reduce your anxiety and prepare you for what comes next.
Why You Have to Do a Home Study
Michigan law requires adoption home studies. The state wants to make sure that you can safely meet the physical and emotional needs of the child you want to adopt.
Three Parts to a Michigan Adoption Home Study
Typically, home studies are done by licensed social workers and include three parts: a documentation review, interviews, and a home inspection.
The home study will include a background check that may occur before a home study provider ever sets foot in your home. The adults in your home will be asked to:
- Complete forms indicating their nationality, religion, marital status, age, and other background information
- State their reasons for wanting to adopt
- Provide physical and mental health records
- Show proof of employment or income
- Consent to a background check which will reveal past convictions and involvement in domestic violence cases
After the documentation review is completed, the home study provider will speak to everyone who lives in the home. They may be asked questions about their daily routines, feelings about the possible adoption, and other things relevant to the adoption process.
The home inspection is stressful for many adoptive families. A stranger is going through your private space and evaluating it to determine whether you have a safe environment for a child. The home study provider is looking for things like smoke detectors and other safety features. The home provider is not judging your decorating ability or the load of laundry that hasn’t been finished.
How to Prepare for Your Adoption Home Study
You may ease your home study anxiety by getting ready for it before it happens. Specifically, you can:
- Gather all relevant documentation and have it ready to give to the social worker.
- Get your house ready. You do not need a fancy or immaculate house to adopt a child. However, you need a safe home. Accordingly, you want to make sure that you have locks on all outside doors, working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fencing around your pool, and safety gates for the top of stairs, for example. However, you don’t have to spend time worrying about a little bit of mail that you haven’t sorted through or the freshly washed towels that haven’t made it to the linen closet yet.
- Think about the interview. You should be prepared to share your reasons for adopting. If you have other children in the home, make sure they know that the social worker may be talking to them so that they are not caught off guard.
Overall, it’s essential to remain honest and positive even if you feel stressed or overwhelmed.
You will receive the home study provider’s report after all three steps in the adoption home study are completed, and you will have a chance to review the report for accuracy before you sign it. In some cases, this may be the end of the home study process. However, other families may continue to have the home study provider visit their homes for postplacement visits until the court finalizes the adoption.
When to Talk to a Michigan Adoption Lawyer
Our Michigan family law attorneys understand that the adoption process is often complex and frustrating. We want to make this time as joyful and stress-free as possible for you.
Together, we can help you create the family you seek through infant adoption, state and court ward adoption, stepparent adoption, relative adoption, international adoption, or adult adoption.
Our adoption lawyers are here to help you every step of the way. We can advise you before and after the adoption home study so that you never have to guess whether you are doing the right thing.
Please send us a text message, call us, or complete our contact form to talk to us about your adoption goals and needs.